Photo credit: L.E. Baskow/Lights FC

Catching up with Lights FC’s charismatic former keeper

A perfect microcosm of the 2018 Las Vegas Lights FC, Ricardo Ferrino reflects on his time with the club.

If you went to a Las Vegas Lights FC match last season, you expected a show. There were llamas, cash drops, motorcycles, and everything else. But, one of the must-see attractions actually stood directly between the sticks for Lights FC: goalkeeper Ricardo Ferrino.

It didn’t take long for Ferrino to establish himself as the perfect goalkeeper for the high-wire act that was the 2018 Las Vegas Lights. In the club’s first preseason match, he tried to dribble the ball out of the penalty area, eluding the first defender but losing the ball to the second. He chopped down the Montreal Impact defender and was sent off. Before the red card, he made a series of big saves, including one with his head, and did the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag after each. This was Ricardo Ferrino, a talented, sometimes reckless goalkeeper that always played to the Cashman Field crowd.

The presence of former technical director El Chelis was a major contributor for Ferrino signing with Lights FC. “El Chelis knew that I wanted to still learn new things in my career and he trusted me, so that trust from him makes a big influence,” Ferrino told me recently.

“I was so thankful for the opportunity there and I still wanted to learn and grow, professionally and personally.”

Speaking of personal growth, Ricardo became a married man during last season, navigating a busy portion of the schedule to go home to Mexico for the wedding. He said married life with his wife Maria has been very good. “It has been a nice journey with good and bad moments but mostly good,” he added. When looking back on last season, he fondly recalls the nights he could go to dinner with his wife on the Las Vegas Strip.

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Ferrino faced the second-most shots on target in the league last season and had a flair for the theatrics. Whether it was pumping up the crowd, making big saves, or his viral solo run to mid-pitch, you couldn’t take your eyes off the Pink Panther.

Since departing from the Lights, he has had a vesicle surgery and decided to take this year off of soccer. In the future, he said he would be very open to returning to the USL Championship, also adding that he hopes the Lights’ supporters continue to support the club. While the season didn’t go as planned for him or the club, Ricardo Ferrino will always have a place in Lights’ history and as a social media sensation.

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